Nevada’s latest photovoltaic auction opens the door to competitive solar storage and bids on gas and coal.
Current registrations of renewable sources are doomed to be short-lived. Proof of this is the low prices of American solar energy: despite taxes on foreign solar cells and modules and carbon-saving measures demanded by President Donald Trump, photovoltaic auctions are giving in the United States. amazing results.
Thus, the record offer of 2.49 cents per kWh presented by developer AZ Solar1 to the Central Arizona Project (CAP) for a 30 MW photovoltaic plant was surpassed by a new project in a few days. We’re talking about the Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm, Nevada’s future 300 MW solar power plant, which is slated for completion in 2021.
When fully operational, the plant will sell the electricity produced on the basis of a 25-year ECO for just 2.37 cents per kWh – a value that is not only the lowest fixed price ever for the plant. solar power in the United States. But it also outperforms the competition from coal and gas.
Of course, the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) plays an important role in supporting renewable energy, but the result is remarkable. “That’s less than a third of the cost of building a new coal or natural gas power plantExplains Ramez Naam, energy expert and professor at Singularity University. “In fact, it costs less to build these plants than to simply operate an existing coal or natural gas plant.. “
The JTI PV is one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to support the development of solar energy in the United States: it is a 30% tax credit, which will increase to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021, for unless it is extended or canceled in the future. But Naam argues that even without incentives, solar power offerings would still be cheaper than any new fossil fuel power plant.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Nevada auction (around 1 GW of new solar capacity) was the high number of projects with integrated storage plans. A total of 40 MWh of energy storage has been approved, divided into three new facilities with a total capacity of 401 MW.
Among the winners of the auction was Sempra Renewables Copper Mountain Solar 5. It is a 250 MW photovoltaic power plant that has signed a PPA deal for a record 2.15 cents per kWh. In this case, however, it is not a fixed price: the supply would increase by 2.5% over the annual cost, leaving the record for the lowest price at Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm.